We received the following email in response to our podcast episode on flirting while married.
We believe this topic is essential for long term relationships, so we tackled it again!
Is flirting a form of cheating? What is the difference between erotic energy and erotic attention? Can flirting actually help a marriage thrive?
Hello I’d like to start off by saying how much I enjoy your podcasts. The reason I am writing this is to discuss your podcasts on marriage and flirting. I am not married however I strongly disagree with the views showed on the podcast. I agree that we are all sexual beings filled with sexual energy however, spreading that energy around will mean less energy to be spent on your partner. I would agree with the views expressed if the show was discussing an open or swingers marriage. I do agree that attraction to others will always be there however if your flirtation has gotten to the point of discussing boundaries you have already gone to far Unless of course your in an open or swingers marriage. Thanks for reading.
Thanks, Luis, for being in touch and sharing your thoughts!
I wanted to take a moment to respond to your followup show on flirting and boundaries. Please pardon me if my response wanders a bit, but I will get back to the original topic.
I am a professional massage therapist and have been for over twenty years. I am also a very earthy man with a healthy sex drive and consider a wide variety of women attractive. From the beginning of my career, these two things came into conflict, until I had this wonderful realization.
Before going on, please allow me to reassure you that I have never brought my desires to bear on a professional client. I feel that this would be taking advantage of someone in a vulnerable state where consent might be problematic, and would do so even were the legal implications less harsh than they might be. At the same time, I have the great good fortune to have a large number of sexy women of all ages get naked in a small, private room with me, and be vulnerable. Not only that, but they are asking me to touch them in ways that are often more intimate than they get with a lover. I’ve heard things from clients that would make a sailor blush.
So there are occasions on which I get quite aroused. And this is a blessing. For me, arousal engages me emotionally as well as physically. So, when I am carbonated, as a friend of mine would call it, I am intensely aware of every fact of texture, every sound my client makes, every movement she makes on the table. I am emotionally connected to her in a way that leaves me open to sensing what is needed. I am even more invested in giving her a pleasure-filled and safe experience that leaves her healthier, calmer and more in touch with her own body than when she came in. In short, I give her a kick-ass massage.
Now, to how this relates to flirting and boundaries. I am at the same time in a monogamous marriage relationship with the woman of my dreams. Our relationship just works on every level I could describe from trust to division of responsibilities to values to the most mind-blowing sex I’ve ever had.
Early in our relationship, I described this phenomenon to my beloved, and explained that it was a piece of who I am. I made it clear that there were hard boundaries around professional contact of that sort, but that I was a better massage therapist because I accepted, revelled in and channeled this wonderful energy to my clients. And then I did the most important thing; I brought that energy home to our bed and made it about her, so that I might tell her about a wonderful connection I’d made and then tell her that as I was making up the sheets afterwards I’d had a strong sensory memory of my beloved and how excited I would be to share this with her.
It is a sign of the rightness of our partnership that she just gets this, is not threatened by it and in fact rejoices in my ability to share that loving energy with others while keeping our relationship unique and at the center of my life.
I suspect this would make your correspondent uncomfortable, and I’m not trying to diminish his experience, but I wanted to share another perspective with you, and if you so choose your listeners. This is a wonderfully complex topic that lies at the heart of so much dysfunction in our loving relationships and if I can be part of giving people permission to feel what they are actually feeling, and to take joy from these wonderful bodies and hearts and spirits we have, then I have done a good thing in the world.